Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill 

http://www.apakistannews.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/india-us-nuke-deal_26.jpgalso known as Nuclear Liability Bill is a bill that the government of India is trying to pass through parliament. 

This is one of the last steps needed to activate the 2008 Indo-U.S. civilian nuclear agreement as the US nuclear reactor manufacturing companies will require the liability bill to get insurance in their home state. After this bill becomes an act, India will become a member of the international convention on liability in the civil nuclear arena.

The government has encountered fierce opposition when trying to push this bill through parliament on several occasions. This is due to the fact that it contains several controversial clauses that the opposition parties claim to be 'unconstitutional'.The opposition believes the bill is being pushed through due to US pressure though this is denied by the government.

The bill effectively caps the maximum amount of liability in case of each nuclear accident at Rs 500 crore to be paid by the operator of the nuclear plant.

The bill will require amendments in the Atomic Energy Act 1962 allowing private investment in the Indian nuclear power program. The issue of an accident is sensitive in India, where a gas leak in a Union Carbide factory  in Bhopal city killed about 3,800 people in 1984 in one of the world's worst industrial disasters.


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